Mark Zuckerberg showed up in Beijing this week. As one of the new members of the advisory board of Tsinghua University business school, he attended a meetup with Tsinghua students yesterday evening.

Speaking Chinese through the whole event, Zuckerberg explained why he has learned the language:

  1. His wife is Chinese. Her family speak Chinese and her grandmother only speaks Chinese.
  2. He wants to learn about Chinese culture as China is a great nation. Learning a language helps him understand the history and  behind it.
  3. Mandarin is very difficult to learn. He likes challenges.

This is his fourth visit to China.

Last month Facebook hired twenty Chinese students who will begin work for the company next year, he said. Employees in China will help local companies acquire overseas customers with Facebook advertising products.

Facebook and Zuckerberg have been well received by Chinese media, commercial circles and well-informed Chinese users (having a Chinese wife is definitely a plus!). Given Facebook is still inaccessible in mainland China, the company’s current strategy is to have Chinese companies with an international presence buy advertising on Facebook. Increasing numbers of Chinese internet companies, especially mobile service developers, are expanding overseas and thus are prospective Facebook customers.

Zuckerberg mentioned he had just met with Lei Jun, co-founder and CEO of Xiaomi. He believes Xiaomi will grow very fast as the company has good products and a low-pricing strategy.

You can watch the video here.

Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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